Polaris Appoints Michael Speetzen as Interim CEO

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With the departure of Scott Wine from the powersports industry, the question coming into 2021 was who was going to lead Polaris Industries going forward.

We still don’t have a definitive answer on that, but we do know who will be leading the company’s house of brands as it looks for a permanent solution, as Michael Speetzen has been named the interim CEO for Polaris.

Speetzen was previously the Executive Vice President of Finance and CFO at Polaris, which creates a bit of shuffle with his now appointment to the head of the company.

Accordingly, Bob Mack will take the mantle of interim CFO (formerly the SVP of Corporate Development & Strategy and President of Global Adjacent Markets and Boats).

Meanwhile, John Wiehoff will take on the seat as Chairman of the Board (previously the company’s Lead Independent Director and a current board member).

“We appreciate Mike and Bob taking on these expanded roles while we progress our CEO search,” said Wiehoff. “Mike and Bob have made significant contributions to Polaris’ success during their respective tenures.”

“In addition to leading the Company’s finance organization and expertly managing the liquidity of Polaris during this global pandemic, Mike has helped shape and drive key growth initiatives, including Polaris’ digital transformation and productivity enhancements.”

“Bob’s operational accomplishments and financial experience leading Polaris’ M&A and corporate development strategy are well suited to advance Polaris’ strong financial foundation. We are confident that Mike and Bob, and the deep understanding they bring of both the business and the industry, will enable a seamless transition during this interim period.”

It is not clear at this time when Polaris will announced permanent positions for these ranks, though the fact that they have shuffled so many chairs for “interim” roles does indicate that the Polaris plans on taking its time to find the right candidates.

In addition to this news, Polaris released the following short biographies about the leadership picks in this annoucement:

About Michael Speetzen

Speetzen joined Polaris in August 2015 as executive vice president, Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Polaris, Speetzen was senior vice president and CFO of Xylem, Inc. since 2011, when the Company was formed from the spinoff of the water businesses of ITT Corporation. He joined ITT in 2009. Speetzen was responsible for the financial planning, accounting, controls, treasury, M&A activity, investor relations and strategy of Xylem Inc. Prior to joining ITT, he served as executive vice president and CFO for the StandardAero Company owned by the private equity firm Dubai Aerospace Enterprise. Previously, he held positions of increasing responsibility in the finance functions at Honeywell and General Electric. Speetzen currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pentair. Speetzen earned his Master of Business Administration from Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and his bachelor’s degree in management from Purdue.

About Bob Mack

Mack joined Polaris in April 2016 as senior vice president of Corporate Development and Strategy, and president of Adjacent Markets. Prior to joining Polaris, Mack was vice president, Corporate Development for Ingersoll Rand. In that role he had global responsibility for its acquisition and divestiture activities. With Ingersoll Rand for 20 years, Mack held a variety of sales, financial, M&A, and operational positions with the Company. Mack currently serves on the Board of Directors of West Marine and is chairman of the Audit Committee. He received his Master of Business Administration from Duke University and his Bachelor of Business Administration from Siena College, and is a certified public accountant (inactive).

About John Wiehoff

Wiehoff has served as a member of the Polaris Board of Directors since 2007 and as Lead Independent Director since 2013.  He serves as the Chair of the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee. Wiehoff served as Chairman of the Board and CEO for C.H. Robinson, retiring in May 2020 and May 2019, respectively. Previous positions with C.H. Robinson include president, senior vice president, CFO, treasurer, and corporate controller. Prior to joining C.H. Robinson in 1992, he was employed by Arthur Andersen LLP. Wiehoff also serves on the Board of Directors of Donaldson Company, Inc and U.S. Bancorp.

Source: Polaris

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.